I’m still very new to the field of public diplomacy and as such I am only beginning to understand the exact scope of what it entails. I’ve spent some time on the Take Five blog and while there are many great posts to read, one in particular caught my attention.
One of the many topics I am am interested in is the role of social media in influencing relations between not only governments but between non-state actors. Such diplomacy through social media is known as e-Diplomacy, as highlighted in the following linked blog. It was very interesting (albeit not surprising) to see the results of the research posted in this blog ( http://takefiveblog.org/2013/02/19/the-use-of-social-media-in-public-diplomacy-scanning-e-diplomacy-by-embassies-in-washington-dc/) which show that over half of the embassies researched use social media, and often use more than one social media platform at a time.
This research highlights that governments are recognizing the role and potential of social media in getting young people involved and interested in world events and issues. Traditionally public diplomacy tends to lie in the realm of governments interacting with each other, but with the popularity of social media in the public sphere this may be changing quickly (The so-called Facebook Revolution, anyone?). What this means for future policy making, if anything, would be interesting to research. It would also be interesting to see if people really are becoming more knowledgeable of world events and issues through the use of social media. Can “following” or “liking” an organization, program, or politician really influence the public significantly more than, say, watching the news? This would be difficult to measure, however, I feel that social media has the ability to highlight the interactive and synergistic potential of public diplomacy. I look forward to seeing what the future of e-diplomacy entails
Enjoy your weekend everyone.
My very first visit to the TakeFive blog site proved to be fruitful and very interesting! As I mentioned before, I am new to the Public Diplomacy arena and am only now beginning to understand it better. As I went along with the readings, a much more consolidated, “academic” perspective on PD took shape in my mind. But I could not help but noticing how much of it I “consumed” and came to terms with in my daily life, without knowing it was, in fact, PD. As the Pamment article mentioned, it is sometimes hard to separate PD from propaganda, especially when much of the way in which it is conducted serves the same purposes. And while many real examples began to flash in my head, the top PD stories from 2013, as summarized by the University of Southern California´s Center for PD, caught my attention. I was delighted to see that Malala´s fight for female education and peace had such impressive repercussions worldwide, surpassing a mere presence in the media spotlight by visibly positioning these debates in the actual field of global politics.
Even more than that, however, I was moved by the crucial role of Pope Francis in PD. Spirituality is an essential part of my life, and I think many people worldwide feel the same way. Thus, witnessing the outreach and revitalization of the Catholic Church in name of advancing peace, conflict resolution, and development, has been truly eye opening. It has presented a whole world of opportunities to explore and observe during 2014. In fact, another interesting post in the TakeFive blog (http://takefiveblog.org/2014/01/13/pd-in-practice-u-s-facilitates-religious-dialogue-on-the-central-african-republic-crisis/) positions interreligious dialogue as a vital tool for promoting peace and stability. Without a doubt, religious PD will be a major component of the “new PD” order in the coming years, albeit (or perhaps precisely because of) people´s waning confidence in religious institutions. And since 2014 seems to forebode an unprecedented year in PD, (http://takefiveblog.org/2014/01/06/2014-the-year-of-public-diplomacy), religion will be a fundamental player in determining how world events will begin to shift and how they will eventually play out.
Have a wonderful long weekend in remembrance of MLK!
Today, as we embark on the journey of deepening our knowledge about public diplomacy in the 21st century, I’d like to consider one particular idea that keeps coming to my mind: Is public diplomacy really a new working sphere for diplomacy and conduct of international affairs or is it just a new dimension in the long-existing framework?
The idea came to me with the publication of the NSA scandal and the revelations that have been coming since then. It seems to me that Snowden has shown us how very little do we know about the ‘real’ diplomacy and the ‘behind the scenes’ of international politics. I believe that current revelations are just the tip of the iceberg and that (unfortunately?) conduct of state affairs remains mainly in the hands of politicians and state actors while secrecy still dominates this conduct.
Across the readings for this week of the course (Hocking, Cull, Pamment) the need for wise conduct of relations with foreign publics is emphasized as a key to successful public diplomacy. It is true that public image of a country has become significantly more important than in the past and the social media, as well as the existence of non-governmental players and interests groups push the states and their diplomats towards more openness, accountability and public engagement. However in my opinion what we are facing is just a technical change. In politics, just as in private business, the public arena now plays an important role. Yet issues decided openly through this public arena are ones of low urgency or danger. Decisions regarding wars, big money, significant social changes, as was revealed by Snowden, are still conducted away from the public eye.
As globalization continues and the power of non-governmental players and interest groups rises, we might witness a change. Nevertheless for now public diplomacy seems to be just a new dimension of diplomacy, handled by adding a public affairs officer to a typical embassy team.
For this week’s blog post, you have the option of posting here within Blackboard or on the public wordpress.com blog .
Anyone who has already posted on the public blog and wishes to retract their posting can post it within BB, and email me and I will delete it from the blog.
On Wednesday in class we will discuss with our CTRL liaison, Laura March, the issues of privacy and authentic learning via public blogging and the privacy controls available on wordpress.com .
Welcome to the SIS 628 Course Blog! We are working to get an easier AU-based site, but we will use WordPress.com as our blogging tool right now.
This page has links to professional PD sites as well as all of your student blogs. Your most recent posts will automatically be funneled to the page, but please tag each post with sis628 and for this week, also tag them as week2 . Tagging sis628 (etc., week by week) will help keep all posts together when we migrate to a new system.
Links to SYLLABUS, GETTING STARTED, BLOG GUIDELINES, PEER RESPONSE ASSESSMENT, and BLOG POST ASSESSMENT are also available on this site.
Flickr / Gervais Group